The Weekly Briefing

REVOLVING DOOR:

Ryan Jesperson

Ryan Jesperson and Edmonton’s 630 CHED have parted ways. Jesperson has confirmed that he was fired by Corus Entertainment last Friday after almost six years hosting middays on the station. Prior to CHED, Jesperson was part of Citytv Edmonton’s Breakfast Television.

Al Stafford

 

Al Stafford is joining Steve Bohan on One Mornings with Steve and Al on The One (CJLD-FM) Leduc, AB. The former 630 CHED talk host and UP! 99.3 (CIUP-FM) morning news anchor is also the PA announcer for the Edmonton Oilers and most recently, the in-game voice of the 2020 NHL Playoff bubble in Edmonton.

Kwabena Oduro

 

 

Kwabena Oduro has announced he’s left Global Montreal to join the public broadcaster. Oduro will work as a VJ for CBC Montreal and file for radio, as well as occasional fill-in on the sports desk.

Emily Rendell-Watson

 

 

Emily Rendell-Watson is the new Managing Editor of online news site, Taproot Edmonton. Rendell-Watson has been curating and editing the online publication’s ‘Roundup’ section since early last year. She’s also a former CBC Edmonton reporter and associate producer.

Janet E. Silver

 

Janet E. Silver is the new Managing Editor of iPolitics. For the last six years, Silver had been producing for Global News in Ottawa and served as executive producer of Sunday morning show, The West Block. 

CJ Knowles

 

 

 

PromoSuite has announced that CJ Knowles, its Director of Business Development, is leaving the radio promotions management software company. Knowles has been with PromoSuite for 12 years, starting as Operations Coordinator in 2008. He was promoted last year to Director of Business Development. Knowles will be joining the sales team at Brooklyn-based agriculture and food brand, Ark Foods. Read more here.

AJ Trauth

marblemedia has announced that former Disney star AJ Trauth (Even Stevens, Pepper Dennis) has joined the company in the newly-created role of Vice-President of Kids to support the growth of their scripted division. He’ll be based in L.A. marblemedia has also expanded Carrie Paupst Shaughnessy’s role as VP, Scripted. She’ll now also serve as Executive Producer across all current scripted programming. The scripted team also welcomes Sam Schleifer as Scripted Development Executive. Prior to joining marblemedia, Schleifer worked on The Good Doctor and Deadpool. 

Sam Chou

Sam Chou has been hired by Toronto-based Look Mom! Productions as its Creative Development Director as the Blue Ant Studios animation arm expands into scripted animated drama. Chou will oversee the prodco’s creative development slate in the newly-created position. He previously served as creative development director for Vancouver-based Kickstart Entertainment, where he worked on Netflix Original kids series Starbeam.

Stephan James

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) has announced new additions to its Board of Directors: actor Shamier Anderson (Invasion, Bruised (TIFF 2020 official selection); Andréa Grau, founder & owner of Touchwood PR; Jennifer Hollyer, president of the Jennifer Hollyer Agency; actor Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk, Selma); and Tina Keeper (North of 60). They join 15 Board members in current standing, including Board Chair John Young, CEO of Boat Rocker Media; and Vice Chair Anne Marie La Traverse, President of Pink Sky Entertainment. Following maximum 10-year terms, both Martin Katz, President of Prospero Pictures, and Anne Fitzgerald, Chief Legal Officer of Cineplex Inc., will be stepping down from the Board of Directors. 

RADIO & PODCAST:

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Industry Awards were handed out Sunday night with Amanda Kingsland, Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM) Ottawa Program Director and the National Music Director for Rogers Sports & Media’s Country stations, taking the Music Director of the Year (Large Market) prize for the fifth year in a row. Shilo Bellis of Stingray’s New Country 96.9 (CJXL-FM) Moncton won in the Medium/Small Market category. CJXL-FM also won Radio Station of the Year (Medium or Small Market), while Corus-owned Country 105 (CKRY-FM) Calgary took the prize in the Large Market category. Shannon Ella, the host of Bell Media Radio’s syndicated midday show, Pure Country, was named Country Personality of the Year. Find more CCMA Industry Award winners here.

Blackburn Radio has confirmed that a number of employees furloughed earlier in the year due to COVID-19 pressures, won’t be returning. “Just like many broadcasters in the industry we have also been impacted by the economic environment and its longer term effects. With that, Blackburn has had to undertake some downsizing in staff positions,” Blackburn Director of Operations Walter Ploegman told Broadcast Dialogue. While Blackburn declined to say how many furloughed employees have been permanently laid off, sources say 10 to 20 staff positions have been eliminated.

Evanov Radio Group’s Proud-FM 103.9 (CIRR-FM) is the latest Toronto station to introduce a syndicated American morning show, as part of a larger station refresh. Proud FM, the country’s only LGBTQ+ commercial radio station, will air Elvis Duran and the Proud Morning Show from 6 – 10 a.m. ET, starting Oct. 5. Originating from iHeartMedia’s Z100 (WHTZ-FM) in New York, the Premiere Networks-syndicated show airs on more than 70 Top 40 stations in the U.S. Proud FM is the show’s first Canadian affiliate. Duran publicly came out as gay in 2010 and is known for his philanthropic efforts within the LGBT community. Jaret Sereda, who has been a Marketing Manager with Evanov since 2012, is the station’s new dedicated Brand Manager. Sereda himself will be hosting afternoon drive, starting Oct. 12, while Tyler Carr also joins the station as the host of Weekend Pop Up Party with Tyler, Saturdays & Sundays from noon – 6 p.m. Carr is one of the morning show co-hosts at Evanov’s Energy 106 (CHWE-FM) Winnipeg. Read more here.

Sher-E-Punjab AM 600 (CKSP-AM) launched on Monday. Based in Richmond, BC and serving Metro Vancouver, the station is being branded as “BC’s #1 South Asian News Talk Radio.” Its lineup includes Kwantlen University political science professor and former Surrey Conservative candidate Shinder Purewal, Harjit Gill, and many of the hosts previously heard on KRPI 1550 AM, based in Ferndale, Washington. Prior to Sher-E-Punjab being granted a broadcast licence for AM 600 in 2016, KRPI had been targeted by the CRTC as “pirate radio” for broadcasting into the Lower Mainland after complaints of unfair competition from licenced broadcasters.

RNC Media-owned CHOI-FM Quebec City is facing an advertising boycott after the talk station aired a number of interviews featuring COVID-19 conspiracy theorists. Sponsors who have pulled their advertising include Hydro-Québec, the Société des alcools du Québec, Mercedes-Benz Quebec, Uniprix, Desjardins, as well as Quebec City. Police confirmed that Mayor Régis Labeaume was the target of online death threats following the announcement that the city would be pulling its advertising from the station.

Media Technology Monitor’s (MTM) latest research says public transit and walking commuters are more likely to listen to podcasts than those who drive or don’t commute. The finding supports a slight drop in podcast use this past spring during the COVID-19 lockdown. MTM also says that podcast listeners are more likely to be audiophiles, and in particular, users of online audio like music streaming services, YouTube and AM/FM radio streams. Looking at French speakers, MTM says one in six Francophones listens to podcasts. Although growing in popularity in the French-speaking market, podcasting still lags behind other forms of online audio content such as YouTube Music and other music streaming services, as well as online AM/FM radio.

Contes et légendes du Queeristan, a Toronto-based, French-language podcast “that helps woke people fall asleep” is among 20 podcasts selected for development funding under this year’s Google Podcasts creator program. The podcast is hosted by intersectionality comedian, creative producer and writer Jo Güstin. Under the Google Podcasts program, creators receive regular feedback; training in storytelling, sound design, and marketing; equipment and software support; and up to $12,000 in funding.

TSN has launched The Bardown Podcast, a new eight-episode longform storytelling series “at the intersection of sports, internet culture, technology, and social issues.” Hosted by BarDown’s Corwin McCallum and Daniel ‘DZ’ Zakrzewski, and produced by Sam Gliserman and BarDown founder and Managing Editor Dave Krikst, initial episodes cover the underground coin market in sports video games, ask the question ‘was music in EA Sports’ NHL games better in the 2000s?’, and explore the most controversial hockey logos of all time. 

Hollywood Suite marked International Podcast Day on Wednesday by announcing the specialty channel’s first foray into podcasting. The bi-monthly, A Year in Film: Podcast, will see 50-minute episodes released on the first and 15th of every month. Hosted by Becky Shrimpton and Hollywood Suite film experts Alicia Fletcher and Cameron Maitland, and produced by Ryan Mains, the 12-episode first season will feature the four years highlighted in Season 1 of Hollywood Suite original TV series A Year in Film (1978, 1983, 1992 and 2007), highlighting films and subgenres that didn’t make the final cut for broadcast. 

TVO’s new podcast TVOat50 looks at the 50-year history of Ontario’s public broadcaster, including going behind-the-scenes of then Education Min. Bill Davis’ fight for creation of the educational television channel, and shows like Polka Dot Door, Today’s Special and Saturday Night at the Movies.

LISTEN: Former CBC Vancouver reporter turned communications professional Karen Tankard is our guest on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast talking about Life After Journalism. She’s hosting a series of Zoom panels for journalists considering a career change. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here: 

LISTEN: Kevin Getz of Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) is Matt Cundill’s guest on the latest Sound Off Podcast talking about the recent release of his spoken word album of radio breaks. They also discuss show prep, digital rights, and more. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

The Two Miles for Mary Radiothon, heard on Jim Pattison Broadcast Group’s Saskatchewan Country CKBI Prince Albert on Sept. 25, raised $16,000 for local senior’s transportation. The program, which charges a $5 base fare for seniors looking for affordable transportation, is operated by the Prince Albert Community Service Centre.  

CFOX 99.3 Vancouver’s ‘CFOX Famous Friends contest is now open for voting. Over the last few weeks, listeners with famous friends have convinced their celebrity pals to get on-air with The Jeff O’Neil Show for a chance to win $10,000 for themselves as well as $10,000 in support for any charity of their celebrity friend’s choice. The top five celebrity callers include: Milan Lucic for the Boys & Girls Club of South Coast BC; Sarah McLachlan for the Sarah McLachlan School of Music; Seth Rogen for HFC – Research for Alzheimer’s; Tori Spelling with half to St. Jude’s Cancer Research Hospital for Children and half to Feeding America; and T-Pain for Caregivers 911. Voting closes Oct. 8 at 5 p.m. PST. 

Edmonton Broadcasters Club fall luncheon is going virtual with former CTV Edmonton anchor Daryl McIntyre to be interviewed by his former co-host Carrie Doll. A Zoom event, that will stream live on Friday, Oct. 23rd at noon MT from Edmonton’s Production World, the event will also feature three surprise guests. Find ticket info here. All proceeds go towards the club’s annual $1,000 NAIT bursary awarded to the year’s top Broadcast student.

Sean Ross

FEATURE: What Is the Sweet Spot for CHR Power Rotation? Over the years, it has been hard for radio programmers to know when they’re playing their power rotation songs too much. Sean Ross of Ross on Radio explores that question in his latest feature. Read more here.

TV & FILM:

Canadian Heritage has announced temporary support to get Canadian film and television productions, unable to get COVID-19 insurance, back on set. Heritage Min. Steven Guilbeault announced the Short-Term Compensation Fund for Canadian audiovisual productions on Friday. It will make a total of up to $50 million available to independent production companies should their productions be interrupted or shutdown due to confirmed cases of COVID-19. The fund will be administered by Telefilm Canada and the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and offer maximum compensation of $1.5 million in the case of a temporary interruption and $3 million in the case of a complete shutdown of production. Read more here.

The Canadian Academy has been selected as a Global Access Programs partner for WarnerMedia, starting with the WarnerMedia x Canadian Academy Global Access Writers Program. The multi-year talent development initiative will focus on experienced but underrepresented Canadian writers, offering them connections and exposure to WarnerMedia executives, creators, and other opportunities. Additionally, the Academy has announced support for the efforts of the Indigenous Screen Office in seeking “narrative sovereignty” for First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities by instituting a new rule for the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards season, that puts new eligibility requirements in place for Indigenous content. When the work being submitted tells an Indigenous story and/or is from an Indigenous perspective, entrants must affirm that a minimum of two thirds above the line talent identify as Indigenous; OR that the production company is majority Indigenous-owned. 

Netflix has signed a lease agreement with Burnaby’s Canadian Motion Picture Park (CMMP). British Columbia’s COVID-19 protocols are defining the province as a safer option for productions choosing Lower Mainland B.C. over locations like London and Los Angeles, with an estimated 60 productions set to simultaneously shoot in the Vancouver area in October. The 25-acre CMMP includes 178,000 square feet of production space and 18 sound stages.

Ryan Reynolds says he’ll be dedicating part of his own salary to hire BIPOC trainees on his upcoming Vancouver film shoot this fall. The Vancouver-born actor has announced the Group Effort Initiative, which will see up to 20 people from marginalized backgrounds fill roles as production trainees on the Netflix project. According to its website, “The Group Effort Initiative exists to create a pipeline for Black, Indigenous, people of colour or people from marginalized and excluded communities to get real experience towards a lasting career within the entertainment industry.”

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has announced the reopening of the WildBrain-CMF Kids & Family Development Program to support the development of Canadian kids’ and family content. The $960,000 program aims to support new entrants to the production community as well as regional projects, creators in official language minority communities, and French-language producers. Half of the program’s funds are reserved for women-led projects. Click here to access the guidelines. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30.

Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa, have renewed their dedicated incentive for the co-development of television projects between Canadian and South African producers. The total maximum contribution for each project funded through the incentive is CAD $65,000. Closing date for applications is Oct. 30. Find program details here.

Telefilm Canada is launching virtual townhalls over the next few weeks to review its Success Index. Upcoming sessions will be held in both French and English, covering the Development Program Oct. 7, and a dedicated Success Index discussion on Oct. 14. More details here.

 

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival has announced full programming for the 21st Annual Festival, running online Oct. 20-25. imagineNATIVE will present work from 153 Indigenous artists in 23 languages from 13 countries and 97 Indigenous nations. Among 10 feature films streaming are Michelle Latimer’s Inconvenient Indian, which recently won People’s Choice Documentary Award at TIFF 2020; Monkey Beach, directed and produced Loretta Todd; and Love and Fury, directed and produced by Sterlin Harjo, a feature doc that follows Native artists as they navigate their careers in the U.S. and abroad. Corner Gas and Fargo actor Lorne Cardinal will be honoured with the 6th annual August Schellenberg Award of Excellence. The annual imagineNATIVE Awards Presentation, hosted by Tiffany Ayalik (Inuk), will take place Oct. 25 with a record $53,000 in cash prizes to be handed out. 

Faytene Grassechi, Tore Stautland, Nima Rajan, Sheldon Neil, Tanya Granic Allen, and Tony Clement. (TheNewsForum.ca)

The News Forum is now available on Bell platforms across the country, a new right-of-centre news channel with a mandate “to provide viewers with politically balanced domestic and international perspectives, inclusive of a conservative counterbalance for the current media landscape.” The channel’s schedule includes shows like Boom or Bust, hosted by former Conservative health minister Tony Clement; Canadian Justice, with Niagara area lawyer and pastor K.R. Davidson, looking at polarizing constitutional freedom cases; and Counterpoint with former Ontario PC candidate Tanya Granic Allen which promises “conversations on fundamental Canadian rights and freedoms – where all sides are presented, respected and discussed.” At the helm of The News Forum is CEO Tore Stautland, founder of St. Catharines, ON-based Trillenium Media Group (TMG Inc.), and was previously involved in the programming of ZoomerMedia-owned JoyTV and FaithTV. Read more here.

A GoFundMe campaign, in support of Bowen Island, BC-based actor Michael Hogan and his wife Susan, has surpassed it’s initial $300,000 fundraising goal. Hogan, who is best known for his roles as Colonel Saul Tigh on Battlestar Galactica, Hagan in The Man in the High Castle, and Otto Gerhardt in Fargo, suffered a serious head injury after a fall following the Battlestar Galactica convention in Vancouver on Feb. 17. The accident left Hogan with complete paralysis on his left side, memory loss, cognitive impairment, and an inability to swallow. He continues to recover with an eventual goal to return home where he’ll require ongoing care.  

ICF Films, Eagle Vision, and eOne have announced that production is underway on Season 4 of CBC original drama series Burden of Truth (8×60) in Winnipeg. The series, which also airs on The CW in the U.S., began production in early September and is set to shoot until late fall. Reprising their roles are executive producer Kristin Kreuk, Peter Mooney, Star Slade, Meegwun Fairbrother, and Anwen O’Driscoll. New cast additions this season include Brynn Godenir (The Middles, Journey Back to Christmas) and Cherissa Richards (A Dog’s Journey, The Secret Ingredient). Season 4 directors are Doug Mitchell (The Pinkertons, Less Than Kind), Kelly Makin (Flashpoint, Saving Hope), Michelle Latimer (Trickster, Rise), Madison Thomas (Taken, Colour of Scar Tissue), and 2nd Unit Director, Tyson Caron (Wynter, Lovesick). 

CBC has announced the 16 skaters making up the eight pairs for the upcoming new season of Battles of the Blades. This is the first time in the series’ history that three female hockey players, and three male figure skaters, have been part of the competition. Season 6 pairings include: Violetta Afanasieva and Anthony Stewart; Meghan Agosta and Andrew Poje; Jennifer Botterill and Eric Radford; Jessica Campbell and Asher Hill; Meagan Duhamel and Wojtek Wolski; Carlotta Edwards and Kris Versteeg; Vanessa James and Akim Aliu; and Kaitlyn Weaver and Bryan Bickell. Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean also returns as host, alongside the judging panel of Scott Moir; Season 5 runner-up Natalie Spooner; and Elladj Baldé. The new season launches with a special two-hour premiere Thursday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem.

TVO premieres the second season of its original series, Striking Balance, on Sunday, Oct. 4, a day ahead of the United Nations’ World Habitat Day. Narrated by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and directed by Zach Melnick, the series explores nine of Canada’s UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves and shares stories of sustainable communities from coast to coast. All nine episodes will be broadcast weekly and made available to stream at tvo.org and on TVO’s YouTube Channel. 

Open Door Co. and TVO will premiere of TVO Original Margin of Error, Saturday, Oct. 17 as part of a celebrational TVO 50th Anniversary Telethon. Directed by veteran filmmaker Peter Gombos and produced by Tom Powers (Political Blind Date), the documentary investigates how a new artificial intelligence or “AI” method – led by a Canadian tech startup – is shaking up the landscape of traditional political polling. 

CTV has confirmed additional premiere dates for its Fall 2020 schedule, including the return of The Good Doctor (Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Nov. 2), as well as Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 (in a crossover event Nov. 12). Additionally, the two-hour Season 5 premiere of This Is Us moves to Oct. 27. The Conners also returns to CTV on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT, paired with back-to-back episodes of The Goldbergs.

 

ONLINE & DIGITAL MEDIA:

FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting is launching a new video interview series called The Chesterfield, hosted by songwriter and performance artist iskwē, and entertainment journalist Ben Rayner. The Chesterfield will premiere Tuesday, Oct. 6 on YouTube and run weekly for 12 episodes. In each 15-minute episode, guests will discuss their favourite book, film, record, painting or other Canadian creation and the importance of appreciating Canadian culture. Among those appearing in the debut season are Jann Arden, political cartoonist Michael de Adder, Max Kerman of The Arkells, Chris Murphy of Sloan, director Alanis Obomsawin, entertainer Fred Penner, and media veteran George Stroumboulopoulos. 

Stir Vancouver is a new digital magazine devoted to arts and culture in Vancouver and the surrounding area. With the permanent closure of the Vancouver Courier and other publications pulling back on their entertainment and culture coverage, Stir is aiming to fill that void as an independent journalism hub devoted to Vancouver’s creative scene. It includes features like an events calendar and also published a recent guide to VIFF (Vancouver International Film Festival). Stir’s founding team is comprised of longtime The Georgia Straight staffers Gail Johnson, Janet Smith, and Laura Moore.

REGULATORY, TELECOM & MEDIA:

CRTCThe CRTC has approved a stay request from incumbent telecoms asking the regulator not to enforce its Aug. 2019 decision lowering wholesale high-speed access rates. The commission approved requests by Bell Canada and Cogeco, Eastlink, RCCI, Shaw, and Videotron to stay the implementation of Telecom Order 2019-288, until the commission completes its review of that order. 

The CRTC’s first-ever Secret Shopper Project shows one in five “perceived that they may have faced misleading or aggressive sales practices.” The report also indicates that misleading or aggressive sales practices happen at a higher rate for vulnerable individuals, like those with disabilities or whose first language is neither English nor French. The report also found that while certain companies, like Rogers and Bell, advertise their ability to accommodate deaf shoppers with sign language interpreters during the sales interaction, in reality the process proved to be prohibitively difficult for the secret shopper who tried to access the accommodation. Female shoppers were also more likely to face persistent efforts from salespeople to overcome their objections. The secret shopper project comes on the heels of the CRTC’s 2019 Report on Misleading or Aggressive Communications Retail Sales Practices. 

Videotron has asked the Competition Bureau to investigate practices it says Bell is engaging in to slow down or block access to its support structures (telephone poles) with systematic delays or by neglecting to process requests for access. Videotron says its application to the federal agency provides multiple documented examples of the telecom giant’s “stratagems to limit competition.” In some cases, it alleges it’s taken Bell more than two-and-a-half years to process a request for access to a single pole. Videotron submitted more than 1,400 access requests in 2019 alone and says the delays are causing considerable harm to the affected communities. It’s filed a lawsuit for damages in Superior Court seeking compensation for estimated losses of over $12 million “as a result of Bell’s obstructionist manoeuvres.” 

Rogers has unveiled a $3 billion investment proposal to benefit Quebec, should it be successful in its bid to acquire Cogeco’s Canadian assets. Rogers new plans would include: investing $3 billion in Quebec over the next five years, including $1.5 billion in network investments; ensuring 5,000 jobs in Quebec for a combined Rogers/Cogeco entity; maintaining Cogeco’s headquarters in Montreal with a Quebec President leading its business in Quebec; maintaining the Cogeco brand in Quebec; and continuing relationships with local suppliers and contractors. Rogers also says it would also establish a tech innovation hub in the province that would create 300 jobs and act as a Centre of Excellence in artificial intelligence, software engineering and digital technology, as well as build on Cogeco’s rural expansion commitments to reach an additional 100,000 households, among other community partnerships and event sponsorships. Additionally, it pledged to establish a French-language training fund for Rogers employees outside Quebec.

Rogers has announced the launch of Team Rogers Community Draft, a nationwide program aimed at helping Canadian youth return to playing recreational sports, when and where it’s safe to do so. Recognizing that organized sports may look a little different than usual this season, the program invites families across Canada with children ages 5-17 who play – or want to play – organized youth hockey, baseball, or tennis to apply to be drafted to Team Rogers. Starting with hockey this fall, “drafted” youth athletes will receive $150 to help offset league fees, plus mentoring calls with Team Rogers professional athletes. Applicant selection will be through random draw, with the NHL to select 150 BIPOC boys and girls playing hockey in Canada to also take part in the program. Pro athletes on Team Rogers include Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers), John Tavares (Toronto Maple Leafs), Bo Horvat (Vancouver Canucks), Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg Jets), Marie-Philip Poulin (Team Canada Hockey), Bianca Andreescu (Tennis Canada), Felix Auger-Aliassime (Tennis Canada), and Bo Bichette (Toronto Blue Jays).

Stingray commercial services division, Stingray Business, has signed an agreement with California-based Space Factory Media to represent Stingray products and services for in-store music, digital experiences and AI-driven consumer insights for brands and businesses. Stingray Business already provides licensed background music and digital display in 125,000 commercial locations globally. Space Factory will deliver business planning, market development, strategic sales, and mergers & acquisitions support to aid Stingray’s entry into the commercial background music and in-store media business in the U.S. The deal also includes representation of Toronto’s Chatter Research, acquired by Stingray earlier this year, which uses proprietary AI-driven customer insight solutions to collect customer feedback and other data. Read more here

CBC/Radio-Canada and the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) have announced two new fellowships for Black journalists: the CJF-CBC/Radio-Canada Black Journalism Fellowship (open to all genders), and the CJF-CBC/Radio-Canada Black Women’s Journalism Fellowship. The fellowships will provide unique opportunities for early-career Black journalists (with one to 10 years’ experience) to be hosted by a CBC News or Radio-Canada Info newsroom. Over a six-month period, fellows will receive mentoring and training in video and audio editing, writing, research, and investigative reporting. Each fellow will receive a full-time stipend. Applications open on Jan. 18. The new fellowships are modelled on the CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships program, which has helped foster the careers of 11 journalists since 2014.

BROADCAST TECH & ENGINEERING:

LISTEN: World-renowned engineer and audio processing expert Bob Orban appears on this sponsored episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast. With a large selection of audio processors on the market available to radio stations, Orban explains why the ones with his name on them stand out. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

MELS Studio and Postproduction, part of the TVA Group, has announced that it’s the first studio in Canada to obtain Dolby Atmos Home Entertainment 9.1.4 certification. Based in Montreal, MELS says obtaining certification in the state-of-the-art sound mix design tech will enable the studio to attract major projects, support international sales, and meet Netflix requirements for original productions. Dolby Atmos delivers an immersive, surround-sound experience, by placing spatialized sound objects outside conventional channels.

YANGAROO has announced the launch of a major upgrade to its cloud-based Yangaroo Music distribution platform. Running on Yangaroo’s DMDS workflow solution and based entirely in the cloud, DMDS users are now able to download new music and accompanying promo assets directly through their web browser. Yangaroo says the update, dubbed “EZ Downloads,” offers the same efficiency and security as the existing interface without having to install proprietary software to facilitate secure, watermarked downloads. Yangaroo Music says the upgrade is the first of a number of updates and enhancements intended to strengthen DMDS’ position as the market leader in secure radio servicing.

LTN® Global, the media technology and video transport network solutions provider, has acquired early 4K remote production and broadcast transmission pioneer, DTAGS. LTN says the acquisition strengthens its ecosystem with a portfolio of scalable 4K remote production, post-production, and transmission workflows for large-scale sports, entertainment, political, news, and corporate events. The company’s next major 4K transmission and production project will be daily live coverage of The French Open from Roland-Garros. DTAGS is known for its role in bringing live events to the screen, including Thursday Night Football and the NFL Draft, as well as the virtual audience for America’s Got Talent. Now an LTN Global company, DTAGS solutions and video equipment rental services will integrate into the LTN production portfolio and continue to operate out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Next year, DTAGS’ 4K remote production will migrate to LTN’s centralized production facility in Kansas City, Missouri. Mike Burk will continue to lead DTAGS in addition to LTN’s on-site and remote production services.

Nautel is making a free app available for download which enables the use of the current Flash-based Advanced User Interface (AUI) beyond the end-of-life planned for browser-based Flash availability. The app, which will operate on either Windows or macOS platforms, uses Adobe AIR to install Nautel’s Flash-enabled app on the user’s desktop. A transmitter is accessed by entering its IP address into a window which then opens the AUI for that transmitter on the user’s computer. Multiple windows may be run at the same time for users who need to monitor a number of Nautel transmitters. Nautel Product Manager Matt Herdon says a full HTML5 AUI release is expected in early 2021, with beta releases before the end of 2020. The legacy AUI Access App will be available for use until testing of the new HTML5 AUI has been completed for all AUI-enabled transmitter models.

The Rise advocacy group for women in broadcast has appointed Meghan Ross, Director of Global Channel Marketing at EditShare, as its North American chapter co-chair. The chapter was formed earlier this year by Serena Harris, Sales Director at Annex Pro. Rise North America will be presenting its first event, an ‘In Conversation With’ webinar featuring Sandy Nasseri, CEO of MelroseINC on Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. PT. MelroseINC, an eight-figure tech business, started as Apple reseller MelroseMAC in 2003, and has since expanded into a robust IT services company. Register here.